Banner: The symphonic suite Cantabile

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 52

Thread: Making friends with Glazunov's symphonic poems, pictures, fantasies, rhapsodies

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    4,906
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Making friends with Glazunov's symphonic poems, pictures, fantasies, rhapsodies

    Over the past couple of weeks I've been listening enraptured to the symphonic poems and such of Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) -- the following four so far, all composed by the time he was 31:

    Poème lyrique, op. 12

    Stenka Razin: Symphonic Poem, op. 13

    The Sea: A Symphonic Fantasy, op. 28

    Spring: A Musical Picture, op. 34

    It is especially his harmony and orchestration that have drawn me in. (to be continued ...)

    Thanks Huilunsoittaja on Composer Guestbooks for your steady advocacy! Also to mbhaub for talking up the symphonies, which I will get to later.
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Sep-06-2021 at 21:12.

  2. #2
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,004
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Interesting thread/post. I struggle with his symphonies, they just don't click with me, so perhaps the tone poems might. But I have quite a long backlog of listening to get through, so I guess I will remain in the Glazunov dark for some time yet!

  3. Likes Roger Knox liked this post
  4. #3
    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    2,486
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Try the exquisite Violin Concerto, it will bring you into the Glazunov light! I was just listening to The Seasons today; such wonderful life-affirming music.
    "It is surprising how easily one can become used to bad music" - F. Mendelssohn

  5. Likes HenryPenfold, Roger Knox liked this post
  6. #4
    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cph, Denmark
    Posts
    6,019
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Those I've found most catchy so far are the quasi-Wagnerian The Sea, and the quasi-Rimskyan Stenka Razin. I think one should give those a try. Recordings vary a lot however.

    Can't say I know the orchestral poems all that well, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by HenryPenfold View Post
    Interesting thread/post. I struggle with his symphonies, they just don't click with me, so perhaps the tone poems might. But I have quite a long backlog of listening to get through, so I guess I will remain in the Glazunov dark for some time yet!
    Have you tried the 4th, probably the most immediately tuneful & a wonderful work? If you like some Tchaikovsky, there's a good chance you'll like that one too.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Sep-07-2021 at 05:53.

  7. Likes Kiki, HenryPenfold, Roger Knox liked this post
  8. #5
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    791
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Both the 4th and the 5th are excellent, but these are the only Glazunov symphonies I know, because they are in Mravinsky's repertoire. I have wanted to explore more Glazunov, but after trying Otaka, Serebrier, Polyansky and Fedoseyev on streaming, I'm not totally convinced I want to invest in any of these sets. I haven't heard Rozhdestvensky yet. Any comment on his Glazunov symphonies?

  9. Likes HenryPenfold, Roger Knox liked this post
  10. #6
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Oxford-ish
    Posts
    2,034
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I've got a dozen or so Glazunov CDs on Naxos, which explore the less obvious pieces using orchestras and conductors who are less than stellar names. I quite like them, although I have found very few of Glazunov's works are particularly memorable, I am sorry to say. That includes the symphonies, but I do find the earlier ones more distinctive than some of the later ones; No.1 in a gem as far as I am concerned. I agree with the positive sentiments about The Seasons; also Raymonda. Of the works Roger mentions in the OP, it's probably The Sea that for me stands out. And I do enjoy the CD which includes The Kremlin Suite and the Olden Times Suite.

    My favourite Glazunov by the proverbial country mile has to be his Violin Concerto, which is not only a lovely piece, but I reckon a very strong piece too.
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; Sep-07-2021 at 09:31.

  11. Likes Roger Knox liked this post
  12. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    1,079
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    The Rozhdestvensky has the typical CCCP sound, rather rough but often exciting. I have 3 discs in older issues and it's good enough for me but some dislike that sound. There is also Svetlanov (I think one cycle from Soviet times and one live from the 1990s).

    Hurwitz trashed most of the Soviet/Russian recordings recently, but that's only him. For "completeness" I got the Serebrier box and it is quite nice although little of it will become my favorite music. It's pleasant music but not much more. I have to admit that I find the violin concerto even more hackneyed than the Tchaikovsky...

  13. Likes Kiki liked this post
  14. #8
    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,004
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by joen_cph View Post
    Have you tried the 4th, probably the most immediately tuneful & a wonderful work? If you like some Tchaikovsky, there's a good chance you'll like that one too.
    Yes, but not for some time, and I can't remember a note.

    And for the record, I like all Tchaikovsky!

  15. Likes joen_cph liked this post
  16. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Posts
    15,611
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki View Post
    I haven't heard Rozhdestvensky yet. Any comment on his Glazunov symphonies?
    That was my first exposure to Glazunov, and his music immediately clicked with me. I have a couple Serbrier recordings, but they don't grab me in the same way. I don't know what Rozhdestvensky is doing, but it's how I want Glazunov to sound. I hope you find a conductor/recording that does the same for you.

  17. Likes Kiki, jim prideaux liked this post
  18. #10
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    791
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    That was my first exposure to Glazunov, and his music immediately clicked with me. I have a couple Serbrier recordings, but they don't grab me in the same way. I don't know what Rozhdestvensky is doing, but it's how I want Glazunov to sound. I hope you find a conductor/recording that does the same for you.
    I listened to Rozhdestvensky's Glazunov #4 on Spotify today. I like what I heard. While Mravinsky's, which is what I am familiar with, is fast, classicist and propelling with ease; Rozh's is more like a free spirit Romantic who is eager to showcase what he has to say. The only problem is that, compared to Mravinsky, the voltage seems to drop just a little bit in the finale. Perhaps, in my case, it was Mravinsky who have imprinted on my mind how it should sound like... but Rozh is not slack in any way, quite the contrary in fact, and on top of that he has much better sound. I will certainly check out Rozh's other Glazunov symphonies! Thanks!

  19. Likes Manxfeeder, jim prideaux liked this post
  20. #11
    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    2,486
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki View Post
    I haven't heard Rozhdestvensky yet. Any comment on his Glazunov symphonies?
    They're well played, very excitingly conducted and very brashly recorded. The trumpets peel paint off the walls! Very strident, and typical, Melodiya sound. I owned the LPs way back when and hoped the cds would have better sound, but no. It's not bad - just turn the treble down. They are very, very Russian and far surpass Svetlanov, Polyansky, and Fedoseyev. Jarvi on Orfeo is still the one to beat.
    "It is surprising how easily one can become used to bad music" - F. Mendelssohn

  21. Likes jim prideaux, Kiki, Manxfeeder liked this post
  22. #12
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    5,606
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I have the Serebrier box on my shelves but can't remember the last time I took it down - it was available at a too good to miss price at the time of buying.
    I'll keep it there as who knows when the time will come when I'll take a shine to its contents.

  23. Likes jim prideaux liked this post
  24. #13
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north east england
    Posts
    3,634
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    There was a time a few years ago when I spent a fair amount of time with Glazunov.....symphonies 3- 7 'clicked'. I listened to Serebrier, Otaka and Roz. Oddly enough one composer I do not really enjoy is Tchaikovsky and I find it intriguing that Glazunov appears to be (unfavourably) compared to that particular composer. Glazunov's music has it's own attractions and repeated listening can be very much rewarded.....as they now appear to say 'IMHO'!

    In fact I think Glazunov has now just re appeared on any immediate playlist ( having just listened to DCSH 4th and 7th twice)
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

  25. Likes Malx liked this post
  26. #14
    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north east england
    Posts
    3,634
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    I have the Serebrier box on my shelves but can't remember the last time I took it down - it was available at a too good to miss price at the time of buying.
    I'll keep it there as who knows when the time will come when I'll take a shine to its contents.
    Give it a go Malx.....nothing to lose!
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

  27. Likes Malx liked this post
  28. #15
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    5,606
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jim prideaux View Post
    Give it a go Malx.....nothing to lose!
    I have taken it down already Jim but the question is - will I dive in straight away or will I keep reaching past it!
    The real issue is there is so music music I want to listen to and relatively so little time, and thats before taking football into account - Austria v Scotland tonight, I'd probably be better listening to Glazunov

  29. Likes jim prideaux liked this post
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •